As we’ve argued here many times before, not all charges of hypocrisy are logically vicious. Someone’s hypocrisy might be evidence that her view is too difficult to enact (like Newt Gingrich’s conception of traditional marriage) or, more importantly, that she’s logically incompetent. Here is an example (from Talking Points Memo):
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) told a local television station that she would not be deferring her pay during the government shutdown, as some other members have done.
“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line,” Ellmers told WTVD in Raleigh, N.C. “I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks, and I think that’s admirable. I’m not in that position.”
According to Ellmers’s official website, she was a registered nurse for 21 years before being elected to Congress. Her husband Brent, the website says, is a general surgeon.
Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield also told WTVD that he wouldn’t be deferring his pay. “I don’t think there should be a shutdown,” he said. “I didn’t create the shutdown.”
The other federal employees–some of whom continue to work–also need their paychecks. That you cannot sustain the very thing you advocate is evidence that the thing you advocate is unsustainable.